A Service of brainline.org
About TBI and PTSD
It’s no surprise that service members with TBI may also experience post traumatic stress disorder. Called “soldier’s heart” in the Civil War, “shell shock” in World War I, and “combat fatigue” in World War II, combat-related PSTD has existed as long as war itself. And if you experience an explosion or other event traumatic enough to injure your brain, you’re likely to sustain psychological trauma as well. Despite the fact that the condition has been around for thousands of years, it is sometimes still difficult or controversial to diagnose, especially when it co-occurs with TBI.
Learn some of the basics here about PTSD and TBI.
Michael Roy, MD, Col. (Ret.) talks about how parts of the brain are affected when injured ― from the frontal lobe which houses our emotions to the amygdala which oversees our fight or flight response.
Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD explains word for word what exactly PTSD is, how it can affect someone in the short- and long-term, and what can be done to treat it.
Often people talk about the effects of TBI or the consequences of PTSD as separate conditions — which they are. But for the person who is living with the dual diagnosis of TBI and PTSD, it can be hard to separate them.
Dr. Paul Aravich talks about PTSD and other serious mental disorders as types of brain injuries, which can come with an increased risk for dementia later in life.
More about TBI and PTSD
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An easy-to-read infographic covering the basics of PTSD — common causes, symptom categories, PTSD numbers and clinically recommended treatment options
Dr. Stephen Cozza, Uniformed Service University, discusses TBI and PTSD statistics and the impact it has on service members and their families.
Use this infographic to learn the symptoms that can help you discriminate between TBI and PTSD for patients who have only one or the other.
"One of the most important things that I tell the soldiers is they're not crazy. They're having a normal reaction to an abnormal situation…"
Learn exactly what post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is and what can trigger it.
The brain is incredibly complex — take an interactive journey to see how the brainworks and what impact a traumatic event can have.
More than 200,000 women make up nearly 15 percent of the US Armed Forces — and just like the men, many have TBI and PTSD.
Dr. Jack Tsao says that, to date, there is no research showing that TBI directly causes PTSD but there may be a higher likelihood of someone with TBI developing PTSD.
Dr. Jack Tsao talks explains the symptoms associated with TBI and PTSD, how they can exacerbate each other, and the best treatment approach.
It’s easy to confuse post-traumatic stress (PTS) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition to sharing similar names, there’s considerable overlap in symptoms between the two conditions.
Service members and veterans often don't want to admit they have symptoms of PTSD, or maybe they are not aware that they do. Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD talks about how healthcare providers can ask the right questions to help.
Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD talks about how using evidence-based guidelines, healthcare providers can work with patients to take small steps as a way to feel safe and in control of their own progress.
"We all do better when we have people to help us bear the weight of our burden," says Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD. People with PTSD have a better outcome when they are supported by friends, family, colleagues, and community.
In the military, service members are taught: "Say later, stay alive!" But once home, says Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD, that feeling of being on high alert is hard to turn off.
Learn about the similarities and differences of combat stress and posttraumatic stress disorder to help prevent or effectively manage both.
Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD talks about how injury to different parts of the brain like the amygdala or the frontal lobe can affect behavior and how best to approach treatment.
Lt. Col Jeffrey Yarvis, PhD discusses strategies to help families recognize what triggers anger from TBI and/or PTSD and what strategies to use to minimize it.
Lt. Col. Philip Holcombe, PhD talks about how the timeline of symptoms ain acute versus chronic PTSD and in what time frame they abate. The highest recovery happenss within the first year.
Treatments for TBI and PTSD can often overlap since symptoms can overlap. However, if drug interventions are used, it is important to make sure there is no threat of negative drug interactions.
Sometimes PTSD is not fully manifest until treatment for the symptoms of TBI begins.
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